At the end of this year, we are preparing an exhibition called "Univerzum Max Švabinský (1873-1962)", which will be held in the gallery building on Masaryk Square from November 24 to February 4, 2024.
The Vysočina Regional Gallery in Jihlava has been cooperating with the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts in Zlín for several years and together they participate in a cycle of monographic exhibitions focused on important personalities of the Czech art scene at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. My colleague Pavlína Pyšná, curator of the Zlín gallery, and I have decided to continue this series this year and present the work of this versatile artist, whose birth will be 150 years this year.
Many people know Max Švabinský primarily as a painter; author of the painting The Fusion of Souls or the large-scale canvas The Poor Country, exhibited and reproduced many times in various professional and social publications and magazines. But Švabinský was also an excellent graphic artist, admired for his extraordinary drawing skills and the variety of graphic techniques used.
Since both galleries have a really large collection of Švabinský's graphic works, it was already clear in the initial stages of preparing the exhibition concept that the entire installation would be built precisely and only on works from the collections of the aforementioned galleries. We have divided the author's extensive graphic work into several thematic areas, accompanied by excerpts of the author's texts, and we have also added a look at Švabinský's pedagogical work at the Prague Academy, where he led the graphic arts school for many years and thus significantly influenced the emerging artistic generation. The works of his students, for example Miloslav Holý or Cyril Bouda, are also presented at the exhibition.
At the end of April, we went on a visit to Zlín, where the exhibition is already underway, to see how the installation went for our colleagues from Zlín. Together, we were able to get an idea of how educational programs could be conducted, how the promotion of the exhibition itself should look, and especially to prepare for possible installation difficulties. We have the experience over the years of cooperation that the same concept and the same set of exhibited works end up looking different in each gallery. This is of course mainly due to the different environment, different architecture of the gallery buildings and other layout and installation options.
If you have the opportunity to visit both exhibitions, I would definitely recommend it. In the Zlín gallery, the exhibition ends on May 21, and here in Jihlava we start with the opening on Thursday, November 23 at the traditional time 5 pm, and we are already looking forward to seeing you there...
Jana Bojanovská, May 2023